TODAY'S PAPER
Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon
SportsHigh SchoolBoys Basketball

Tommy Ribaudo, Tommy Engel lead Ward Melville over Bay Shore

Tommy Ribaudo of Ward Melville is all alone

Tommy Ribaudo of Ward Melville is all alone at mid-court during a Suffolk Conference II boys basketball game against Bay Shore on Tuesday. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Tommy Ribaudo caught the Tommy Engel pass on the perimeter in front of the Ward Melville bench. Bay Shore had just dropped a 10-2 run on the Patriots and had closed within four points late in the third quarter.

In one swift motion, Ribaudo changed it all. He launched a three-point attempt as he was decked by a Bay Shore defender. The shot found nothing but net and Ribaudo added the free throw for a four-point play.

Ward Melville extended the lead to as many as 13 points and went on to a 59-49 workmanlike win over Bay Shore in a Suffolk League II boys basketball game Tuesday night in East Setauket.

The Patriots improved to 5-1 and hold second place in league play. The once proud Bay Shore program is in full rebuild mode under legendary Amityville coach Jack Agostino, who took over during the shortened one-month long COVID-19 season of 2020. Bay Shore is 1-4.

"Our guards [Michael] Dargan and Ribaudo put a lot of pressure on their shooters and didn't give them any easy looks at the basket," Ward Melville coach Alex Piccirillo said. "We weathered a solid run by Bay Shore there in the third quarter. And Ribaudo’s four-point play was critical."

Ribaudo hit six of seven free throws and finished with 12 points. Engel led Ward Melville with 16 points.

"They’re athletic, well-coached and they responded when the game got tight," Agostino said. "I give our guys a lot of credit for battling through adversity every week. We haven’t had the same team on the floor all season with all the COVID issues. It’s been tough to get any continuity and cohesiveness with our players."

Bay Shore never led in this one. The Marauders fell behind by seven early but kept it close through a relatively close first half and trailed 32-27 at the break.

"Our league is so competitive week in and week out," Piccirillo said. "Every game is a challenge, and no lead is safe."

Ward Melville had held the Marauders scoreless through the first 4:09 of the third quarter to build a 39-27 lead. Bay Shore’s Michael Samuda, who led the Marauders with 16 points, buried a three-pointer to cap the 10-2 spurt and bring the Marauders within 41-37 before Ribaudo’s momentum-changing play.

"He made a heck of a play and they needed one," Agostino said. "We’re feeling our way, improving, and we’ll get there. I like that we’re learning and competing."

Notes & quotes: Kudos to officials Tommy St. John and John Amato, who were masked the entire time and called a clean game.

More high schools